2 youth abduction attempts reported in Gaston

slyttle@charlotteobserver.comOctober 29, 2013 

Police in two Gaston County municipalities are looking for suspects in a pair of reported attempts to abduct youths over the weekend at parks.

The incidents do not appear to be related, as the suspects were reported to be driving different types of vehicles.

The first incident, on Saturday, involved a 10-year-old boy at a park in McAdenville. The second case, involving a 14-year-old girl, was at a park in south Gastonia.

No arrests have been announced.

Police say a man tried to grab the boy and pull him into a wooded area Saturday afternoon at McDonald Park. The alleged incident took place only a short distance from where hundreds of adults and children were gathered to watch youth football.

Police say the boy managed to free himself from the attacker, and the man fled.

Investigators describe the suspect as a white male, 30 to 40 years old and weighing about 200 pounds. He had reddish-brown hair and a beard. He was reported to be driving an older-model faded blue Honda Civic or Accord.

Anyone with information in the case can contact police at 704-824-7964.

Then, about 5 p.m. Sunday, a girl who was walking on a trail at Martha Rivers Park reported that a man grabbed her and threw her to the ground. The girl told police that she screamed, and her brother and a friend ran to her help.

The girl said the attacker ran off. No description has been released of that suspect, but according to several published reports, the man was driving a black pickup truck.

Anyone with information can contact police at 704-866-3300.

Lyttle: 704-358-6107; Twitter: @slyttle

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